Ris­ing Sun Mid­dle stu­dents spread pos­i­tiv­ity

Anony­mous note cam­paign raises spir­its

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - IS­SUE By JES­SICA IANNETTA

jian­netta@ce­cil­whig.com

— Four Ris­ing Sun Mid­dle School girls are try­ing to make Mon­day morn­ings a lit­tle brighter, one locker at a time.

The group of girls, who have dubbed them­selves Op­er­a­tion Make the World Bet­ter, have been anony­mously leav­ing en­cour­ag­ing notes in stu­dents’

RIS­ING SUN

lock­ers ev­ery Mon­day morn­ing for the past three weeks. Op­er­a­tion MTWB has been leav­ing the notes one grade at a time, start­ing with the sixth grade class and then mov­ing onto sev­enth graders and fi­nally, the eighth grade class this past Mon­day.

The notes are all hand­made — with many of the say­ings and quotes in­spired by Pin­ter­est — and the girls spend about an hour af­ter school ev­ery Fri­day plac­ing the notes in each of the lock­ers so stu­dents will see them when they come in on Mon­day morn­ing.

Travis Ben­ner, the school’s as­sis­tant prin­ci­pal, said he’s been im­pressed with this sim­ple dis­play of kind­ness. While many RSMS stu­dents al­ready show kind­ness and com­pas­sion on a daily ba­sis, Op­er­a­tion MTWB is a “whole new level.”

“It’s im­pres­sive and I think it’s inspiring other stu­dents as well,” Ben­ner said.

The four eighth grade girls, who asked to re­main anony­mous, said they were in­spired to start leav­ing the notes af­ter an anti-bul­ly­ing as­sem­bly last month. The as­sem­bly fea­tured Scott Michels, the leader of Col­lec­tive Ac­tion Urg­ing So­cial Evo­lu­tion (CAUSE), and fo­cused on how one per­son can have a big im­pact and how stu­dents can find a hero in them­selves.

Since ev­ery­one goes to their locker first thing in the morn­ing, that was a nat­u­ral place to leave the notes and help stu­dents start their day off right, the girls said. They also wanted to make the notes anony­mous to pre­serve the ran­dom­ness of re­ceiv­ing the notes, they added, and many stu­dents au­to­mat­i­cally as­sume the notes are the work of the guid­ance depart­ment or the teach­ers.

To keep up with the num­ber of notes, the girls write about 10 each day. Hav­ing now done all three grades, the girls plan to cir­cle back and start again with sixth graders, con­tin­u­ing the process through the end of the year.

They aren’t sure what will hap­pen with the notes once they go onto high school next year, but they’d like to see oth­ers take over. The girls also haven’t ruled out start­ing some­thing sim­i­lar once they get to high school, though they’d have to find an­other way to de­liver the notes since most high school­ers don’t use lock­ers, they said.

But over­all, the girls said they’re glad they started leav­ing the notes and are happy with the re­ac­tion from other stu­dents.

Jen Fox, a sev­enth grade teacher at RSMS, first learned about the notes af­ter see­ing the girls work­ing to put them in the lock­ers one day af­ter school. She’s also been im­pressed that the girls are tak­ing time out of their sched­ules to spread some pos­i­tiv­ity. And the other stu­dents ap­pre­ci­ate the notes too, she said.

“It’s def­i­nitely nice to see the smiles on their faces when they get the ran­dom notes,” Fox said.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JES­SICA IANNETTA

Ris­ing Sun Mid­dle School eighth graders found en­cour­ag­ing notes in their lock­ers on Mon­day morn­ing as part of a cam­paign by some stu­dents to spread pos­i­tiv­ity.

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